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Project plan


A team’s best guess at how a project will unfold over time. 


  • Clear understanding for project sponsors and the team about why, how and when a project should run.

Use when

  • Launching a project.
  • Communicating with senior executives and sponsors.
  • Adjusting a project’s approach or timelines.

Project plans are not

  • Infallible predictions of how a project will unfold – early, exploratory stages of work often throw up unexpected insights and information that might result in changes to the project’s direction.


Project plans are documents that can be very helpful in managing scope creep as a human-centred design project unfolds.

They should:

  • clearly highlight non-negotiables and dependencies (tasks that can’t be started until another task is complete)
  • clearly articulate anything that is out of scope

Key terminology

Outcomes: The desired outcomes for the project – the results or impacts expected once a project is finished.

Objectives: The key questions a project will help to answer; the tangible activities a project might involve or the key areas a project might investigate.

Outputs: The things the project will produce such as current state journey map or personas.

Scope: What the focus of the project is and (importantly) what it isn’t.

Methodology: The team’s high-level approach to key stages of work.

Timeline: A map of the key stages of work, activities, deliverables and communication over the duration of the project.

Ways of working: Any relevant principles or behaviours that the team will follow during the project such as project huddle every Friday.

Team members: All team members, their roles and responsibilities.